Ancient Near East facts for kids
The Ancient Near East is considered one of the cradles of civilization. It was here that intensive year-round agriculture was first practiced, leading to the rise of the first dense urban settlements and the development of many familiar institutions of civilization, such as social stratification, centralized government and empires, organized religion and organized warfare.
It also saw the creation of the first writing system, the first alphabet (abjad), the first currency in history, and law codes, early advances that laid the foundations of astronomy and mathematics, and the invention of the wheel.
During the period, states became increasingly large, until the region became controlled by militaristic empires that had conquered a number of different cultures.
Ancient civilizations in the Near East were deeply influenced by their spiritual beliefs, which generally did not distinguish between heaven and Earth. They believed that divine action influenced all matters, and also believed in divination (ability to predict the future). Omens were often inscribed in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, as were records of major events.
It was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia (modern Iraq, southeast Turkey, southwest Iran, northeastern Syria and Kuwait), ancient Egypt, ancient Iran (Elam, Media, Parthia and Persia)
Also, Anatolia/Asia Minor and Armenian Highlands (Turkey's Eastern Anatolia Region, Armenia, northwestern Iran, southern Georgia, and western Azerbaijan), the Levant (modern Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, and Jordan), Cyprus and the Arabian Peninsula.
The history of the ancient Near East begins with the rise of Sumer in the 4th millennium BC, though the date it ends varies. The term covers the Bronze Age and the Iron Age in the region, until either the conquest by the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC, that by the Macedonian Empire in the 4th century BC, or the Muslim conquests in the 7th century AD.
Ancient Near East periodization is the attempt to categorize or divide time into named blocks, or eras, of the Near East.
(4500 – 3300 BC)
|Early Chalcolithic||4500 – 4000 BC||Ubaid period in Mesopotamia|
|Late Chalcolithic||4000 – 3300 BC||Ghassulian, Sumerian Uruk period in Mesopotamia, Gerzeh, Predynastic Egypt, Proto-Elamite|
(3300 – 1200 BC)
|Early Bronze Age
(3300 – 2100 BC)
|Early Bronze Age I||3300 – 3000 BC||Protodynastic to Early Dynastic Period of Egypt, settlement of Phoenicians|
|Early Bronze Age II||3000 – 2700 BC||Early Dynastic Period of Sumer|
|Early Bronze Age III||2700 – 2200 BC||Old Kingdom of Egypt, Akkadian Empire, early Assyria, Old Elamite period, Sumero-Akkadian states|
|Early Bronze Age IV||2200 – 2100 BC||First Intermediate Period of Egypt|
|Middle Bronze Age
(2100 – 1550 BC)
|Middle Bronze Age I||2100 – 2000 BC||Third Dynasty of Ur|
|Middle Bronze Age II A||2000 – 1750 BC||Minoan civilization, early Babylonia, Egyptian Middle Kingdom|
|Middle Bronze Age II B||1750 – 1650 BC||Second Intermediate Period of Egypt|
|Middle Bronze Age II C||1650 – 1550 BC||Hittite Old Kingdom, Minoan eruption|
|Late Bronze Age
(1550 – 1200 BC)
|Late Bronze Age I||1550 – 1400 BC||Hittite Middle Kingdom, Hayasa-Azzi, Middle Elamite period, New Kingdom of Egypt|
|Late Bronze Age II A||1400 – 1300 BC||Hittite New Kingdom, Mitanni, Hayasa-Azzi, Ugarit, Mycenaean Greece|
|Late Bronze Age II B||1300 – 1200 BC||Middle Assyrian Empire, beginning of the high point of Phoenicians|
(1200 – 539 BC)
|Iron Age I
(1200 – 1000 BC)
|Iron Age I A||1200 – 1150 BC||Troy VII, Hekla 3 eruption, Bronze Age collapse, Sea Peoples|
|Iron Age I B||1150 – 1000 BC||Neo-Hittite states, Neo Elamite period, Aramean states|
|Iron Age II
(1000 – 539 BC)
|Iron Age II A||1000 – 900 BC||Greek Dark Ages, traditional date of the United Monarchy of Israel|
|Iron Age II B||900 – 700 BC||Kingdom of Israel, Urartu, Phrygia, Neo-Assyrian Empire, Kingdom of Judah, first settlement of Carthage|
|Iron Age II C||700 – 539 BC||Neo-Babylonian Empire, Median Empire, fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Phoenicia, Archaic Greece, rise of Achaemenid Persia|
(539 BC – 634 AD)
|Achaemenid||539 – 330 BC||Persian Achaemenid Empire|
|Hellenistic & Parthian||330 – 31 BC||Macedonian Empire, Seleucid Empire, Kingdom of Pergamon, Ptolemaic Kingdom, Parthian Empire|
|Roman & Persian||31 BC – 634 AD||Roman–Persian Wars, Roman Empire, Parthian Empire, Sassanid Empire, Byzantine Empire, Muslim conquests|
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Ancient Near East Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.